Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Shame & A Date with my Furnace

I have been working on a few freelance projects lately, I met with a client a few weeks ago who had an adorable home in St.Paul, a nice little bungalow that has been recently updated with some modern accents (honey comb tile in the kitchen - yumm). We went down to her unfinished basement (which she'd like to refinish) and she goes "welcome to my shaaaaaammmmmme." Which I thought was hysterical...thinking about my own basement...and how horrifying it is right now.
 
I questioned posting this, because people might think i'm a  hoarder (oh, you already did?!). But I know everyone was curious what I've done with the construction debris from the past few months...right?! Just tryina keep it real here peeps. So, I had a few options regarding waste.

1. Bagster - This was my plan all along. Buy a bagster, fill it up and have Waste Management haul it away once it's filled. There were a few regulations as far as where the bagster could be located, but it was no big shake and could go right in my front yard. UNFORTUNATELY, mother nature was like 'haha no'. Basically it has been snowing non-stop since day one of demo. Which means that i'd have to shovel out an area for the bagster, and continue to shovel the show out. So I thought for a hot second to wait until the snow melts (August) and haul everything then, but then I was all 'haha no.' Sidenote: I didn't even look into getting a dumpster...you need to pull a permit/I didn't have THAT much trash...so too much hassle in my book

2. Take loads to the recycling center/landfill - as a DIY enthusiast, there was a moment where I was totes on board to just rent a truck and take loads to various locations for disposal. The locations were relatively local, so that wouldn't be an ish, and HD rents trucks fairly cheep. Then the few months of demo/reconstruction happened and i'm beat. Looking at the pile that needs to be removed is totally manageable, but....

3. Hire a company - There comes a time in a DIYer's life where you can hit the Easy button. Although I despise paying people to do things I am more than capable of - they can do it faster, and basically i'm sick of looking at this pile/moving things. So, I called around for a few quotes (If you are in my boat, there are a few LivingSocial deals!) and narrowed it down to two companies. I liked one more (they were early/on time and super nice...the second was a little late but NBD), but it was double the cost. Both companies say they recycle (part of me wants to follow them to see where it actually going...call me crazy?) as much as they can which was my main issue with a few other companies (who didn't know what could be recycled when looking at the pile...red flag).

**None of these companies take hazardous material, make sure to keep that shizz separate while demoing!**

Sick of me talking? Just want to see my shame and get a good horrifying laugh out of me? Well, this is the space it has been fermenting. It's at the bottom of the staircase (so we just threw things down the stairs, which was actually fun/rewarding). Funny story: I have been selling some things through Craig lately and a woman came over who was renovating as well (she bought some furniture for the space), she saw my shame and got overly excited about the carpet remnants and pleated drapes and took whatever she could fit in her car. Love it.






And then this...please don't send this to Hoarders: Buried Alive:




The pile above is about 1/3 of the accumulated trash, the removers meant bizznash when they showed up so I couldn't get a good picture (I know you are bummed...) BUT, now that it's all beautifully gone, I can FINALLY finishing moving in and organizing this space. Basically, once the trash was out of the room on the left (below), I was able to move my storage things in...which still need to get organized/cleaned out ::hello homework from college!::




SO, all was good and clean and the house was feeling less 'constructiony' and more 'homey' and then I woke up one morning to this...


The photo is a little dark but it reads 52*. Side note: it's 30* outside. Brr meets Brr. and all I could think of was "WINTER IS COMING" (Game of Thrones binge anyone?!). So at least I could find humor in the fact that my furnace crapped out in the last (hopefully!) few weeks of winter. I'm sharing this so that, if it happens to you, you can do a few things before calling a service out, in hopes to save some dolla dolla billz, ya'll.


First, get to know your utility room. ::hey, room::

The cylinder thang on the left is your (mine, back off) water heater. It's all new and pretty. The front panel is already off the furnace which is the other hunk of metal. Once I took the cover off I realized one thing: there was no flame. I waited a few minutes, still nothing. The furnace was still 'working' but instead of heating up the air it was just taking the air from outside, and sliding it through this system and into my house (cold air).
 
Furnaces are very temperamental machines. There are just short of 2 million sensors in the furnace. All of these sensors need to be happy in order for a flame to be lit. Flame = heat = I needed. Bad. Finger snaps for not completely being useless (it's 8 years old, so it would be VERY unlikely that it actually needed replacement, THANKFULLY).
 
I read the owners manual (casual reading, ya know) and, after finding the english version, was able to deduce that there is a red blinking light that is basically communication between you and your furnace - Morse code style. It's a patten of slow blinks (first number) and fast (second number). I got 33. Then it lists a million things that could be wrong. Half of them I was able to cross out (is there something blocking the intake?) the other half I was like ::blink blink:: whaaaaaat. So, I googled code 33 for my furnace - went through a few other suggestions until I reached the point where I had no idea what I was doing. I had it narrowed down to about 5 issues, all of which i'd probably blow up my house by fixing myself.
 
ANYWAYS.

Here's my trick for not paying a million bucks to have someone come take a look at it - a little treat for sticking with me through this boring post! Basically companies will charge you around $90 just to show up and say hi. Some companies will take that fee off the repair fee, some just charge parts after yaddi yaddi ya. A few companies were having a "HVAC Tuneup/Cleanup" deals. I called a few and asked if they could check a few things (what I had narrowed down the issue to) to see wassup with my furnace. One said when they come, they'll see what's wrong with the furnace, and just charge me for that fix (while also cleaning/tuning the thang). The deal was $25 - SOLD.
 
So a nice gentleman came, 30 minutes later found that a fuse (obvi the most hidden one of all) needed some tweaks. Fixed it, tuned/cleaned her up and was ready to bounce (aka, wasn't going to charge me for FIXING my furnace). Finger snaps for him. I also bought a new filter from him, since mine was covered in dust (nightmares resurfaced from sanding my floors). So we be breathin' easy, mon.
 
Yikes, that was long. Basically, my advice always, is to get to know the systems in your house. Not only to save money, but to make sure you are using them correctly/efficiently. THE MORE YOU KNOW!
 
p.s. Off to Florida tomorrow - please cross your fingers and toes my flight doesn't get delayed!

No comments:

Post a Comment